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Suspense - Single Episodes

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Suspense - Single Episodes


an introduction
Copyright Jim Widner (
18 Oct 1994

On September 30, 1962 a major milestone in radio drama came to an end with the final episode of the long running series, SUSPENSE. Ironically, the episode was titled "Devil Stone" and was the last dramatic radio play from a series that had its roots in the golden age of radio.

What began as a "new series frankly dedicated to your horrification and entertainment" took on a life of its own mostly due to the talents of some outstanding producers and adaptations and original stories from the cream of mystery writers of the time. The golden age of radio was truly the golden age of SUSPENSE as show after show broadcast outstanding plays which were "calculated to intrigue...stir [the] nerves."

It was the series' first producer, William Spier, who set the framework of rules that was to stay with the show for most of its run. Mr. Spier determined that the series should deal with life-and-death situations established near the beginning of each play and then through the use of Bernard Herrmann's musical coloring and the writer's characterizations slowly tighten the knot of SUSPENSE. Many of the early stories were written by the mystery writer, John Dickson Carr. Others were by such fine writers as Lucille Fletcher, whose SUSPENSE play, "Sorry, Wrong Number" was turned into a major motion picture; Robert Arthur, Robert L. Richards, Morton Fine and David Friedkin. The series also drew from the mystery writers of the day as well as the horror writers of literature; writers such as Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Cornell Woolrich, Dorthy L. Sayers and H.G. Wells.

Many of the stories produced by Mr. Spier are now classics of the genre. Listen to the likes of "The House in Cypress Canyon" as a young couple encounters something in the closet of their new home, something horrible and dangerous; or "The Hitchhiker" in which a man driving cross-country seems to be haunted by an ominous figure, who keeps reappearing trying to get a ride. But what foreboding does the hitchhiker hold for the driver?

Another rule William Spier established was to make the series a place to hear the talents of Hollywood's famous actors. There rarely was a famous actor who did not appear on the series at some time. Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Lucille Ball, Olivia De Havilland and many others all made at least one appearance. The series had a generous budget from its network, CBS.

In 1948 the series had become popular enough that it was decided to broadcast for a complete hour, instead of the former thirty minutes. The actor Robert Montgomery was brought in to introduce the plays, replacing the "Man in Black" character and occasionally star in them. This format lasted only six months most probably due to the realization that the show worked best within a thirty minute framework.

It was at this time that William Spier left and over the years others came to produce the shows, each setting his own unique mark. Anton M. Leader, who came from producing another horror radio program, MURDER AT MIDNIGHT, added some lighter SUSPENSE stories which focused more on the central characters. Jimmy Stewart appeared in an excellent story about a paralysed war veteran who thinks he has found the man who imprisoned and tortured him. Fibber McGee & Molly appeared in a tale about a killer on the loose in "Backseat Driver."

Probably the biggest change in SUSPENSE came under the producing eye of Elliott Lewis. Lewis brought in comic actors to play serious roles. Actors such as Jack Benny, Red Skelton and Ozzie Nelson. He also was not afraid to experiment using the series slot for classic "murder" stories such as "Othello."

The series continued to produce high-quality drama, though there were many repeats as well as borrowing of scripts from other radio shows. While a number of film actors continued to star occasionally, many of the stars were from radio and television since radio as a dramatic art form was beginning to lose its popularity and budgets were tightened.

The show was on the air for a little over twenty years beginning in January, 1942 and was rarely pre-empted. There were 947 performances. Nearly all (approximately 895) are available to collectors. When SUSPENSE left the air, radio was never to see the likes of such a series again. Now the great medium of radio where imagination can run free has been reduced to the occasional brilliant drama airing sporadically in some corner of the world. SUSPENSE was a golden moment in a golden age. A moment when the thrill of the nightime led the listener along the path of intrigue, horror and dangerous adventure.

Permission for use granted by Jim Widner



This is a production of the Old Time Radio Researchers Group located at Old Time Radio Researchers Website and the Old Time Radio Researchers Group.

It contains the most complete and accurate version of this series in the best sound possible at the time of creation. An updated version will be issued if more episodes or better sounding ones become available.

If you are interested in preserving old time radio, you may wish to join the Old Time Radio Researchers Group at Yahoo.

This is the Single Episode Page. The Certified Set includes extras not found here. It is located at OTRR Certified Set. This page is provided in case you want to sample the shows.

Note that in many cases, file names have been modified from the original OTRR names to conform to naming requirements.

Relax, listen, and enjoy!


Reviewer: alamedared - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 6, 2015
These dramas are amazing! Wow. I can listen for hours.
Reviewer: Monte54 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 6, 2015
Subject: heartfelt thanks
Because of dysautonomia I have to spend many hours per day in bed, but listening to this series has lightened the burden. A heartfelt thanks to the uploaders for hundreds of hours of fine entertainment. This is a wonderful series with thrilling stories and excellent acting.
Reviewer: lreader - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 2, 2014
Subject: "Ironic" explanation
I presume it's because the uploader described Suspense as a "milestone", and the final episode was called "Devil's Stone". Not very ironic, I'll grant you, and I would say they've misused the word "milestone" anyway, which really means a particular point during the development of something, rather than a stage that lasted twenty years.
Reviewer: gl1200phil - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 18, 2014
Subject: great series but...
Why the hell is the first half of an episode uploaded? yes, I could have paid more attention, but on my device I only get a narrow strip of view of the content and download several at a time... grumble grumble
Reviewer: I_h8_screen_names - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 22, 2014
Subject: Suspense Radio
I would also like to know why the person who up-loaded these thinks it is ironic that the last episode was called "Devil's Stone".
I'll be darned if I know why that might make anyone pause for thought.

Anyway... these shows are very good. I love old time radio and I have a large collection, these shows are some of my favorites.
The shows vary in theme... horror, murder mystery, spy stories, supernatural, and of course just plain good ol' suspense.
Reviewer: Harry Mudd - favorite - December 25, 2013
Subject: I wasted 17 gigs of data and 24 hours of time
This is my first experience with this site. I downloaded this whole collection. It was 17 gigs of data and it took almost 24 hours to download. When I extracted it, all I got was hundreds and hundreds of copies of the same episode. Thanks for nothing internet archive! It was a lousy joke..... I am not amused.
Reviewer: smeiz99 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 24, 2013
Subject: The Longest Running Favorite
If your program runs long enough you're bound to get a classic or two but Suspense has more than it's fair share. Some of my Favorites are not the most popular but they are worth a listen. They include:
* Pigeon In A Cage
* The Man Who Wanted to be Edward G Robinson (a comedy of sorts starring the man of course)
*Ghost Story (a great Halloween episode)
*The Thing in the Window
*Hitch Hike Poker
*On A Country Road
*Backseat Driver (starring Fibber McGee & Molly- they even introduce them as this instead of their real names Marion & Jim Jordan)
*Christmas for Carole (great Christmas story starring Dennis Day from Jack Benny)
*The Screaming Woman (great Thanksgiving story)
*Too Hot To Live
Try these out and you will stick around for about 500 more.
Reviewer: itsthatbriguy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 22, 2013
Subject: In Response To Vic Demise
Paul Frees was one "Voice of Suspense" (sometimes known as "The Man in Black"). Joseph Kearns (TV's first "Mr. Wilson" on "Dennis the Menace" and a longtime Jack Benny cast member) was another. Others included veteran announcer/actor types like Harlow Wilcox, Larry Thor, Berry Kroeger and George Walsh.
Reviewer: magnoliasouth - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 9, 2013
Subject: Excellent (and a tip)!
I use "down them all", which is an addon for Firefox. It takes a little fiddling to get used to it, but for pages that have a bunch of individual downloads it works very well. I prefer to do that rather than a zip because you can pause it and come back to it and still listen to those that are finished.

Love Suspense!
Reviewer: jwjb - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 23, 2013
Subject: Suspense waiting for SUSPENSE
Had a problem trying to download the VBR ZIP, so am downloading the individual CD Zip files which seem to be working and am really looking forward to hearing SUSPENSE, thanks.
Reviewer: Max Reiner - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 5, 2012
Subject: Subway Stop 580511
I especially like Subway Stop for its great attention to detail.

Short stories of danger translate well into Suspense. I recall hearing the very last broadcast of Suspense on Sept 30th, Sunday, 1962. It was a sunny early evening on that sad day. I was in a hospital unit and assigned CQ duty that night.
Reviewer: Lum Edwards - - May 8, 2012
Subject: for offramp
This is the sampler page. Its for listening or downloading single shows.


to download in cd sized chunks.
Reviewer: Offramp - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 8, 2012
Subject: Downloading...
So we have a choice of downloading episodes one-by-one or in one colossal lump. Any intermediate way?
Reviewer: whaleoilbeefhooked - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 17, 2012
Subject: WOW
This is superb. Excellent quality considering the age. What a collection.
Reviewer: Vic Demise - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 18, 2012
Subject: Who is the announcer???
It sounds to me like Paul Frees- The voice of the Monsanto Journey Through Inner-Space ride at Disneyland (back in the day).
Can anyone confirm this?
Reviewer: FlickFanshaw - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 7, 2012
Subject: why is it ironic?
this show is brilliant, i mainly want to find out why it's ironic that the last episode was called "Devil Stone"?? i was embarrassed to ask before but i've been doing some research, asking all my most clever friends--can't come up with a satisfying answer at all! somebody, do please let me know about that, it's vexing.
Reviewer: holmessuspense22 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 23, 2011
Subject: Practically the best radio mystery show ever
I enjoy this series very much and I much prefer Suspense over some of the other radio mysteries like Inner Sanctum, The Whistler, and Lights Out. I have been listening to Suspense since I was in middle school and high school. I would listen to this show while riding the city bus, or walk around, or while I was out at the malls. These tales are chilling, exciting, and of course suspenseful. The film stars who appeared in them gave it an extra boost of excellent entertainment. Where else could you hear Lucille Ball playing a scheming villianess who will do anything to acheive her ambitions, or Peter Lorre playing a hen-pecked husband who finally murders his shrewish wife and buries her in the cellar, or Danny Kaye playing a ex-con who is suspected in a murder, or Charles Laughton playing a infamous Victorian poisoner who has baffled the police for many years. Suspense is great to listen to for all those who enjoy mysteries or hearing the fabulous stars of the 30's and 40's who has made this series a radio hit.
Reviewer: dashford - - October 31, 2011
Subject: VBR ZIP corrupt
Do not download.
Reviewer: wytchcroft - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 4, 2011
Subject: suspense
What a treasure trove! A fantastic show with many, many justly acclaimed episodes.
This collection is in excellent sound - and, speaking personally, I was absolutely delighted to find the Robert Montgomery version of In A Lonely Place (which, starring Humphrey Bogart, has long been my favourite film) that I've been after for ages now.
A tight show, Suspense features uniformly first rate performances, music and direction. Dig in!
Reviewer: jeffzkrazie - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 14, 2011
Subject: Holy cow!
Just a quick Example on HOW GREAT Quality wise these versions of Suspense are from the ones that are already here - the episode "Stand in for Murder" which was one of the final episodes ever aired for Suspense is very very listenable on these versions of the show. But you can BARELY understand the words on the old version that are already here. REALLY a TOP notch job by the good people at OTRR! Thank you so much for these!
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Uploaded by
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on 5/29/2011
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